Finding Joy: Joy (Harper) Mbanugo’s Road to New Professional Horizons

Joy Mbanugo, a leading finance expert in systems and infrastructure, comes from a diverse accounting, tax, and finance background. She believes that business owners need to invest in their people, infrastructure, and digital assets to succeed in the big leagues, and she wants to help them get there.

A finance professional with over 19 years of audit, tax, business operations, financial services, capital markets, and treasury experience, Mbanugo, formally Joy Harper, has considerable talents. She currently works on Google’s Cloud Partnership Finance team responsible for evaluating said partnerships and cross-functional deals. She has experience working on the Finance Transformation, Systems, and Integration group, responsible for organizing Google’s financial data. Furthermore, she worked on the largest ERP to ERP transformation in the United States. She also led the Treasury Tax initiative at Google to streamline the cash management of $100 billion.

Mbanugo’s resume includes Ernst and Young and Blackrock. She has additional experience in the startup sector and treasures new ventures and new opportunities. She is the Chief Financial Officer of Paladin.org, a nonprofit that focuses on supporting underserved founders structure their startups. She is also a newly minted angel investor. Lastly, she consults with startups for free and for fun to discuss financial modeling and product management. Through her diverse resume, Mbanugo has seen many companies are unprepared for their growth when it happens more extensive or faster than expected. She said this is because they do not have the systems, especially financial reporting systems, in place for the most efficient operations when it comes to finances, and she desires to change that.

Meet Joy Mbanugo below and learn about her background as a finance and crypto guru, a dedicated mother from a stable family, her playful side, and where she is heading next in her colorful journey.

Joy’s Joyful Background

Mbanugo is now happily married and a new mother of a four month old. 

A light-hearted yet structured, intelligent, and finance-minded woman, her husband’s appropriate nickname for her is the ‘Tiny General’. She is rebranding herself, launching her efforts to join a directors one, either for a privately-owned company, startup, or public board. Fashionably inclined, Mbanugo worked at Nine West during her youth too.

“My grandma told me I couldn’t spend all my money on clothes and shoes,” she joked. “Grandma gave me tough love. She taught me how to invest and save.”

Mbanugo grew up in a happy home with like-minded women and a tough but loving father. Her mother wanted her to become a lawyer, and her grandmother was adamant that investing is a crucial element of success in life for anyone.

“Like every good child, when my mother told me to go to law school, I did what she asked,” said Mbanugo. “My grandmother got me into investing, so I studied finance and accounting for my undergrad. I also had enough credits to get another degree in Black World Studies, which influences my perspective, of course. My father is a pastor and has a passion for people  so the Black World Studies interdisciplinary degree makes sense.” 

Jet Setter

Her career path has brought her to some far-off locales; she lived in London, England, for a time which even afforded her the chance to visit Hong Kong. Her stint in London. earned her new connections and opportunities, namely the realization that perhaps she could broaden her niche from tax and capital markets to other areas of finance.

Now based in San Francisco, Calif., Mbanugo is interested in branching into fintech, payments,  cryptocurrency, and consumer finance fields.

She Knows What She Wants

Mbanugo is strategic, and while she has a fun, fashionable side, she remains focused on her primary audience.

“My target audience is not on TikTok and Instagram,” she said. “I love those platforms, they are the creative fashion side of me, but they are not my target audience. My audience is on LinkedIn.”

Mbanugo stresses the fact that she has both a professional and modern side. She understands and is passionate about trends in the financial industry that are exploding right now, like intelligent automation, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

She currently works in Cloud technology, and is excited to see how cloud, crypto, and the metaverse will collide or combine. She impresses upon us the importance that many companies, even large successful ones, do not have the internal structure to keep up with the speed with which financial trends enter the scene. She wants to assist these companies in getting to the level where it becomes second nature to follow serious financial leads, whether that is streamlining hundreds of employees to make a multitude of financial transactions and decisions or simplifying an adventure into crypto.

“I want to work with emerging financial technology businesses with fresh-minded individuals,” she said. “I think that because of my robust tax background, many of these places are like, ‘I don’t get you.’ But I get them. And I want to show them that. I want to be where the action is, with the cutting-edge of finance. That is where I belong.”

To further her journey Mbanugo has been participating in a seminar called “How Women Lead” which prepares women for private and public board seats. She also has been selected for the Angel Investing School (sponsored by Google) where she will sharpen her skills on how to better invest in startups and help early stage founders implement infracture.

About Joy Mbanugo

Joy Mbanugo is a leading finance professional with a robust background that will enhance any public or private board finance and or audit committees. Her range from Partnership Finance, Industry Solutions, Treasury, Tax, Audit, and Finance Systems is invaluable. She has worked in finance for 20 years with companies such as Ernst and Young, Google, and Blackrock. To discuss board and or angel investing opportunities, please visit www.joymbanugo.com

LA Weekly